FT staff shun appraisal project over job fears

The new Financial Times’ chief executive, Stephen Hill, is understood to be planning job cuts across the newspaper, causing one staff union to suspend co-operation with a management consultancy project.

The National Union of Journalists has asked editorial staff at the FT not to complete documents that are part of a project called Century Bold, being carried out by management consultancy Roland Berger.

The union had been co-operating with Roland Berger’s appraisal, but suspended staff participation until the management clarifies its position.

Roland Berger has been appraising the title’s editorial for two months, but the union’s fears have been heightened by Pearson’s appointment of Hill as managing director.

Hill, who joined on March 1, was previously chief executive of Pearson’s regional newspaper group, Westminster Press, where he cut 500 jobs during an eight-month reign.

“We do not believe there is an editorial or business case for job cuts,” says NUJ father of chapel Andrew Bolger.

Hill denies there are any firm plans for redundancies.

He says: “We told staff that the main purpose of Century Bold was to make the paper better than it is now and if as a result of the appraisal we require fewer people, that would be brought about by voluntary means.

“As far as I am aware that position has not changed.”

The FT is considered by the industry to be well staffed compared with other national newspapers.

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